President-elect Joe Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration is already proving to be one of 2021’s most high-profile events. Not only will Tom Hanks host a televised primetime special featuring performances by Demi Lovato and Justin Timberlake that night, but more inaugural ceremonies are sprinkled with celebrity talent. On Jan. 14, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem at Joe Biden’s inauguration, and Jennifer Lopez is also slated for a “musical performance.”
According to Variety, Gaga is scheduled to perform "The Star Spangled Banner" at the swearing-in ceremony, which is expected to begin around 11:30 a.m. ET on the west front of the U.S. Capitol. In addition, participants include Father Leo J. O'Donovan, a longtime friend of the Biden family and former Georgetown University president, who will deliver the invocation. Career firefighter Andrea Hall will deliver the Pledge of Allegiance, while Amanda Gorman, the first-ever National Youth Poet Laureate, will deliver a poetry reading. Finally, Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, the Pastor of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware, will give the benediction.
“We are thrilled to announce an inspired group of dynamic participants for the 59th Inaugural Ceremonies. They represent one clear picture of the grand diversity of our great nation and will help honor and celebrate the time-honored traditions of the presidential inauguration as President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect [Kamala] Harris take the oath of office," Tony Allen, CEO of the PIC, said in a statement.
He continued, "They are also committed to the President-elect and the Vice-President-elect’s steadfast vision of a new chapter in our American story in which we are an America united in overcoming the deep divisions and challenges facing our people, unifying the country, and restoring the soul of our nation."
Of course, Gaga and Lopez both have the chops to nail their performances. Back in 2016, Gaga sang the anthem at the opening ceremony for Super Bowl 50, and she staunchly supported Biden ahead of the 2020 presidential election. Meanwhile, Lopez crushed her 2020 Super Bowl halftime show performance in which a group of children (including her 12-year-old daughter, Emme) appeared in cages. The moment subtly criticized President Donald Trump's polarizing immigration policies.
Considering inauguration ceremony performances tend to become iconic (hello, Beyoncé), this will certainly make history.